Friday, December 30, 2011

From booze cruise to Blues Clues

Well I haven’t gotten any hate mail from the last post, so I’ll continue filling in for Courtney a little longer.  There were a couple of requests (albeit from the same person) for me to kick off storytime with my tale of the cab driver shooting.  Well, Tiffany, that will come in due time.  You see, one thing I have learned about the fairer sex is that, if you give them everything they want on the second date, they aren’t going to value you as much later.

And that’s all this is after all.  We’re in the bliss phase of the blogger-blogee(?) relationship.  I’m still getting a kick out of the novelty of blathering on to complete strangers, and you’re bemused by the sudden change of pace.  If my relationship analogy holds up, after about six weeks, I will have depleted my finite stash of interesting stories, and you’re going to want Courtney back.  We’ll try to remain friends.  It won’t work, and after a couple of late-night drunken blog posts that we’ll both regret the morning, we’ll move on.  It’s not you.  It’s me.

Today I want to highlight some symptoms of old age I have been noticing in myself lately.  For starters, completely against my will, I turned 30 last month (pause for groans from anyone who is older than me).  Like it or not, 30 is that magical age when you are forced to release your death grip on the argument that you’re still in your 20s, which is technically still young.  Furthermore, I’ve recently taken to listening to the 90s on 9 channel of XM radio.  Do you remember when our parents would listen to the oldies channel in the car, declaring to anyone within earshot that they were one hip replacement away from starting to buy adult diapers?  Bam.  I’m that guy.  When did Third Eye Blind become oldies?  Around the same time that I got my Middle Age Club membership card in the mail.

Getting older is not all bad though.  For instance, being married rocks.  There is something incredibly secure and peaceful about coming home to someone who knows all of the less-than-glamorous stuff about you and loves you anyway.   I can honestly say that I am more excited about starting a family with my wife than I ever was about going to prom or pitching in a big game or any of the other things around which my young life revolved.  Luckily for me, I don’t have to wait too long for that, since she is due on New Years Eve.  We’re having a girl-or as I like to call her-karmic whiplash. 

So I’ll get to the crazy stories of my immodest days gone by, but for now, I’m just sitting back and watching this new chapter in my life unfold.  Besides, if I had told the cabdriver shooting story right away, do you think Tiffany would have called me the next day?  I doubt it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

when a guy guest blogs.

Indy is in powder blue. I offer no explanation.

What’s up?  I’m Indy.  Courtney pulled me out of the bullpen to write a couple of blog entries for her now that Henry is here.   I am not a blogger or bloggist or whatever the politically correct term is for those unemployed narcissists who regale us with the minutia of their lives on a daily basis.  I think she asked me because she and I have a similar sense of humor - albeit mine is without any sense of decorum.  I figure the best first entry I could write would be how I know Courtney and Brandon and the evolution of our friendship. 

I first started hanging out with those two during Brandon’s and my intern year.   I was their perma-third wheel.  They had been married for probably 5 or 6 years at that point, and they tolerated the seemingly endless line of floozies that I dated that year.*  I was the kind of train-wreck, alpha male moron who had no business raising a fichus all by myself, let alone working as a physician.  My schedule consisted of going to work, working out, and going out.  Gym, tan, anesthesiology if you will - though anyone who knows me understands that the middle word is an utter and baseless lie. 

I looked up to the stability that Court and Brandon had together despite still being “cool” enough to keep up with me when we went out to bars.  Before Harper came along, we went out.  A lot.  My liver still has not forgiven me, but we are back on speaking terms.  C and B were the type of people who could lovingly laugh at my shenanigans with little to no judgment and give me advice only when I asked for it.  I was very much like a new puppy who followed them around.  

Ridiculousness seemed to happen all the time that year, and Courtney has asked me to write about some of those times.  Since that year, I settled down and got married to a girl who is way too good for me and have since learned that when a woman asks you to do something, she is actually telling you to do it.  Guys out there, you might want to write that down.  That pearl of knowledge is the male equivalent of the discovery of penicillin. 

So I’m going to set out at random and unexpected time intervals, recounting the fun and awkward times we had that year.  I will do my best to protect the innocent, which will be easy, since those people were few and far between.  Some upcoming blogs will surely address; the time I got shot by a cab driver, the Halloween party in July, New Years Eve (oh yes, Courtney, I went there), and more.

Occasionally I will write with the kind of stream-of-consciousness ramblings only intelligible to schizophrenics, so if I lose any of you, I will have C attach an addendum explaining what the *&^% I am talking about.  After all, she is the blogette, not me. 

*If you are reading this, and you dated me during my intern year-don’t worry.  I’m not talking about you.  You were the one exception, and I look back at our time together with misty eyes.**

**If you are smart enough to realize that I couldn’t possibly be speaking to any one specific person, then I definitely did not date you during my intern year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

henry's birth story

I struggle with how much detail to include, here.

Like, do I say that 'on day two of week 40, I had a doctor's appointment and shortly thereafter I went into labor?'

Or do I say, "Well, I waddled into the doctor's office, huffing and puffing, two days overdue, and - despite my best tricks - couldn't get my blood pressure to go down to normal, so the doctor (un)mercifully got things moving with a procedure during which I - a woman of great composure -  involuntarily exclaimed, "holy crap!"

I'll go with the latter until the details become something from which you can't recover:

After the terrible awful that made me holler at around 11:00 a.m., he proclaimed that I would be induced this day.

Then I cried, because I really, really didn't want that. lol. (not in front of the doctor)

So I sucked it up and waddled home to get my bag and blow dry my hair betwixt trying to make a 2 year old understand where I was going and putting her down for a nap.

At around 2:00 p.m., Brandon and I headed for the hospital and not a minute too soon, because by this point, I was in full blown gonna-have-the-baby-this-is-not-a-joke labor. The words I was saying at this point were much, much less gentile than "holy crap!"

They were, in fact, the very worst words I'd use, but were mostly drowned out by AC/DC's Back in Black, which Brandon and I agreed was awesome enough to take my mind off of most anything for the 15 minute car ride. Even in the Mustang. Ugh. The tight suspension. I die.

Luckily, Dr. Bighands had heralded our arrival and we were in a room by 3:00. 

In a stroke of luck, friends kept us company* for what I assumed would be a long, yet civilly medicated process. Other friends who work at the hospital also stopped by our room for quick chats, which totally kept my mind off the fact that the epidural, which I received at 4:00 p.m., when I was juuuust about to begin cranking out some seriously ugly facial contortions/cussing, was only working on one side of my body.

*I would recommend having friends around to any woman who thinks she's in danger of throwing some kind of embarrassing monkeyshine fit at the onset of contractions, because seriously.. are you going to do that in front of people you're gonna have to look in the face for years to come? No.

Shortly after realizing I'd rather not suffer through it all Scarlett O'Hara style, I spoke up and got some additional drugs. Because that's how I like my deliveries. Numb. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified it wasn't going to work and my hands were so sweaty that I felt the need to explain it to anyone who shook my hand - which everyone who comes into the room seems to want to do. A dear friend likened them to that of a small mammal. Anyway.

At around 5:00, a doctor came in and assessed the...err.. situation (don't worry..our friends left the room) and proclaimed me 'ready.' 

So, a whole gang of people flooded into the room to stock it with all kinds of baby-having "stuff" and drape it all up...kinda Dexter-esque, honestly, while I pretended to be impeccably collected about the whole thing, continually bantering with Brandon and the nurses and doctor and probably saying unfunny things that I punctuated with nervous, too-loud laughter.

I only nearly lost my marbles once, when the doctor said that Henry might be 'sunny side up' and it might take a while longer to get him out.. and I was catapulted back to Harper's labor and birth and lord, I knew I did not want to go there, again. Because that 'there' is hard to get over.

I warned Brandon one last time to keep his eyes above my waist and we started that there.

My internal dialogue went something like this, and it was really all I had time to think:

Wow, my own legs are heavy. I can't believe they're making ME pick them up.
Hush about the pushing already! No need to go all crazy on the first one, y'all.
We've got many, many more contractions where this one came from.
Can I get a break, here?!
Does someone in this room of 95 people have a water bottle they can squirt into my mouth?

I thought that, surely, I had run upon the most overzealous team of 'coaches' in history and I was dreading, with all my might, the next two hours, because 45 seconds in, I had already left it all on the field.

Little did I know. . .

As unceremoniously as the day had begun, it was punctuated in just one contraction and four pushes.

With Henry,

the newest little love of my life.

5:55 p.m. 8 lbs, 7.5 oz. 21 inches. 

He arrived in record time, and I am so glad, because now I know I couldn't have gone another second without knowing him.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The funniest/most awkward thing that happened to me in 2011.

I'm jumping the gun here, hoping it absolves me of some kind of horribly awkward birth story.

But, I'm pretty sure some of the oomph will be lost in my necessity to protect anonymity.

Cause, Lord, if you knew who did this, or I could just tell you more about them, it would be so much funnier.

So back in March, before I found out we were going to have Henry, I thought that we weren't. And it bummed me out. Little did I know, just a few days later, we'd get some happy news.


I have a friend who has two children and, thus, not a lot of time to spend with her husband.

So when I started bellyaching about the fact I wasn't pregnant when I thought - surely - I should have been, she sent me a texted song to cheer me up*, adding the text "This will make you feel better about not being pregnant."

*this is when you need to know more about her to realize how out of character this would have been. She's a pragmatist and would never go here. Not on her most hormonal day:

And so I listened to it. And through most of it, I'm thinking, "Did she have a stroke?" Because it was a Faith Hill song, but not just any Faith Hill song. A racy, im-fixin-to-rip-tim-mcgraw's-clothes-off-and-i-dont-care-who-knows-it song.

Poor girl musta been desperate for a date night. 

And, at first, my plan was to ignore it.. but.. can you really ignore something so genuine and heartfelt from a friend? Perhaps a disguised cry for help? Something that obviously took lots of forethought to find and..guts to send? I mean.. it was such an intimate audio file. I just.. couldn't ignore it.

Especially after two hours, when she texted and asked, "Did you get what I sent?"

(and here's where it gets so awkward that you're gonna want to look away, and as my good friend Elizabeth says, 'you can't unread this.')

I typed the most awkward response in history, "Aww, that hits the spot. Leave it to Faith Hill."


WHAT THE HECK? "Hits the spot?!" Who says that?! My face is red in the retelling. Cringing, I tell you.

As fast as lightning, she's texting back...blowing me up, y'all:







So with each text, I got a little more giggly - wondering how that could have actually happened to: a. the pragmatist, b. the perfectionist. c. why is a Faith Hill song on your phone?

And then she sent the file she meant to send. . . her two children hollering to beat the band.. at the same time. "This will make you feel better about not being pregnant."

Indeed, my friend. Indeed it did. I'd even say that it..yes...hit the spot.

Of course, everyone has a story at least this good once a year.

Wanna know why this wins my prize for 2011?

C. It wasn't Faith Hill doing the singing. Mid frenzied type-a text freakout, she let it slip: She had recorded herself singing a racy, im-fixin-to-rip-tim-mcgraw's-clothes-off-and-i-dont-care-who-knows-it song while she was driving and had accidentally sent.. it.. to.. me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

38 & 39 weeks: like John Nash, in a less smart way.

1. Nosy neighbor, don't interrupt my porch sweeping frenzy to ask how dilated(!) I am. I'll just stare at you and stutter. PS. Because you did that, I'm significantly less horrified that Harper and Gwandma picked your very last late-blooming rose. Have you ever heard of such? A rose in December? Yep. They picked it. And now it's in our kitchen.

2. I've about had it with all of these sale emails in my inbox. Don't bother, unless you have something better to show me than your Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair for 30% off.

3. Wow. I really thought Henry would be here by now - It's not like he hasn't practiced enough. I've been timing and charting painful contractions in my head like John Nash for two weeks. Like him, because I can make a PB&J for Harper and hang clothes at the same time and not lose count.

4. The first thing I want to drink after Henry makes his debut is the saltiest margarita on the (many) rocks that I can find...and I don't especially love margaritas. The (un)fortunate thing is that I will forget all about that margarita and probably drink some room temp, hospital-grade cranberry juice from a plastic cup whose aluminum, pudding-cup-like lid I'll shakily, exhaustedly & thoughtlessly peel back and not bat an eye... and not long for anything with such ferocity besides elective sleep for the next 6 - 8 weeks.

5. I could not be more excited about Harper's Christmas presents - one in particular - which almost guarantees an epic failure and subsequent blog post.

6. I bought some really heavy stocking hangers at last year's Target 90% off sale.  I was very excited to use them this year, and when I put them up, Harper reached for her stocking - suspended by a reindeer with particularly sharp antlers - and told me she "is quite fond of this one!" (Seriously..that happened.) And then, as fast as lightning - maybe...unless I stood there, stupefied by the vernacular and failed to recognize the imminent and obvious danger - she proceeded to jerk it down from the mantle, creating an inch-long gash (ok...impressive scratch) in her temple, smashing her foot (no, really. she smashed it.. good) and splitting a piece of her toenail. She cried for 30 seconds then got off of my lap and yelled baby obscenities at the crashed reindeer for the next 30 seconds. What a champ.

7. Our girl is an enigma, because a few days ago, Brandon and I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a latte and I asked her if she wanted a bagel and she said, "No bagel, yuck!" so I rolled my eyes at the moment of general brattiness and didn't order the bagel. And then she screamed in the back seat for the next 30 minutes (and into the next day when she would think about the injustice) because I didn't buy it. Even yesterday, when we were on our way to the grocery store, I heard, "Oh noooo! I no have bagel! Waaah!" from the back seat. O.m.g.

8. It's important to know that with all of these indirect John Nash references, I'm talking about the genius portrayed by Russell Crowe in the 2001 blockbuster A Beautiful Mind. Because when I first looked up John Nash because I couldn't remember his name because pregnancy and general toddler antics have stolen my feeble brain, I was all, "Wait.. the South African-born, yet Canadian NBA player?" No. That's Steve.

9. I can not think of a single thing I want for Christmas. I never understood this about adulthood when I was little.

10. Harper and I will now attempt a Dunkin Donut run for cream cheese because I can not bear the thought of waddling through the grocery store with a toddler for cream cheese. Hopefully no one in the car decides to lose it based on travesties of the past.